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IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF STEPHANIE (3) Her husband's full name, but prefixing a word indicating that

l name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife,

such as Mrs.
Art. 371. In case of annulment of marriage, and the wife is the guilty party, she
FACTS: shall resume her maiden name and surname. If she is the innocent spouse,
she may resume her maiden name and surname. However, she may choose
Honorato B. Catindig, herein petitioner, filed a petition to adopt his minor to continue employing her former husband's surname, unless:
illegitimate child Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia; that Stephanie has been (1) The court decrees otherwise, or
using her mothers middle name and surname; and that he is now a widower (2) She or the former husband is married again to another person.
and qualified to be her adopting parent. He prayed that Stephanies middle
name Astorga be changed to Garcia, her mothers surname, and that her Art. 372. When legal separation has been granted, the wife shall continue
surname Garcia be changed to Catindig, his surname. using her name and surname employed before the legal separation.
Art. 373. A widow may use the deceased husband's surname as though he
Trial court rendered the assailed Decision granting the adoption. were still living, in accordance with Article 370.
ISSUE: Art. 374. In case of identity of names and surnames, the younger person shall
be obliged to use such additional name or surname as will avoid confusion.
Whether or not an illegitimate child, upon adoption by her natural
father, use the surname of her natural mother as her middle name? Art. 375. In case of identity of names and surnames between ascendants and
descendants, the word Junior can be used only by a son. Grandsons and
RULING: other direct male descendants shall either:
(1) Add a middle name or the mother's surname,
YES. The use of surname is fixed by law: (2) Add the Roman numerals II, III, and so on.
The name of an individual has two parts: (1) the given or proper name and (2)
the surname or family name. The given or proper name is that which is given Law Is Silent As To The Use Of Middle Name
to the individual at birth or at baptism, to distinguish him from other individuals.
The surname or family name is that which identifies the family to which he As correctly submitted by both parties, there is no law regulating the use of a
belongs and is continued from parent to child. The given name may be freely middle name. Even Article 176 of the Family Code, as amended by Republic
selected by the parents for the child, but the surname to which the child is Act No. 9255, otherwise known as An Act Allowing Illegitimate Children To
entitled is fixed by law. Use The Surname Of Their Father, is silent as to what middle name a child
may use.
Thus, Articles 364 to 380 of the Civil Code provides the substantive rules
which regulate the use of surname of an individual whatever may be his status Notably, the law is likewise silent as to what middle name an adoptee may
in life, i.e., whether he may be legitimate or illegitimate, an adopted child, a use.
married woman or a previously married woman, or a widow, thus:
Being a legitimate child by virtue of her adoption, it follows that Stephanie is
Art. 364. Legitimate and legitimated children shall principally use the surname entitled to all the rights provided by law to a legitimate child without
of the father. discrimination of any kind, including the right to bear the surname of her father
and her mother, as discussed above.
Art. 365. An adopted child shall bear the surname of the adopter.
Hence, since there is no law prohibiting an illegitimate child adopted by her
Art. 369. Children conceived before the decree annulling a voidable marriage natural father, like Stephanie, to use, as middle name her mothers surname,
shall principally use the surname of the father. we find no reason why she should not be allowed to do so.
Art. 370. A married woman may use:
(1) Her maiden first name and surname and add her husband's surname, or
(2) Her maiden first name and her husband's surname or


Given a valid marriage between two Filipino citizens, where one party is later WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT CAN REMARRY UNDER THE
naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a valid divorce decree capacitating ARTICLE 26 OF THE FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES?
him or her to remarry, can the Filipino spouse likewise remarry under
Philippine law? RULING:

FACTS: On its face, Art 26, par 2 of the Family Code does not appear to govern the
situation presented by the case at hand. It seems to apply only to cases where
Cipriano Orbecido III married Lady Myros M. Villanueva at the United Church at the time of the celebration of the marriage, the parties are a Filipino citizen
of Christ in the Philippines in Lam-an, Ozamis City on May 24, 1981. Their and a foreigner. The instant case is one where at the time the marriage was
marriage was blessed with a son and a daughter, Kristoffer Simbortriz V. solemnized, the parties were two Filipino citizens, but later on, the wife was
Orbecido and Lady Kimberly V. Orbecido. naturalized as an American citizen and subsequently obtained a divorce
granting her capacity to remarry, and indeed she remarried an American
In 1986, Ciprianos wife left for the United States bringing along their son citizen while residing in the U.S.A.
Kristoffer. A few years later, Cipriano discovered that his wife had been
naturalized as an American citizen. Records of the proceedings of the Family Code deliberations showed that the
intent of Paragraph 2 of Article 26, according to Judge Alicia Sempio-Diy, a
Sometime in 2000, Cipriano learned from his son that his wife had obtained a member of the Civil Code Revision Committee, is to avoid the absurd situation
divorce decree and then married a certain Innocent Stanley and that her wife, where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien spouse who, after
Stanley and her child currently live in California. obtaining a divorce, is no longer married to the Filipino spouse.

Cipriano thereafter filed with the trial court a petition for authority to remarry The jurisprudential answer lies latent in the 1998 case of Quita v. Court of
invoking Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code. No opposition was filed. Appeals. In Quita, the parties were, as in this case, Filipino citizens when they
Finding merit in the petition, the court granted the same. The Republic, herein got married. The wife became a naturalized American citizen in 1954 and
petitioner, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), sought obtained a divorce in the same year. The Court therein hinted, by way of obiter
reconsideration but it was denied. dictum, that a Filipino divorced by his naturalized foreign spouse is no longer
married under Philippine law and can thus remarry.
The Solicitor General assails the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of
Molave, Zamboanga del Sur, and its Resolution denying the motion for Thus, taking into consideration the legislative intent and applying the rule of
reconsideration. The lower court a quo had declared that Cipriano Orbecido III reason, we hold that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 should be interpreted to include
is capacitated to remarry. cases involving parties who, at the time of the celebration of the marriage were
Filipino citizens, but later on, one of them becomes naturalized as a foreign
The OSG contends that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code is not citizen and obtains a divorce decree. The Filipino spouse should likewise
applicable to the instant case because it only applies to a valid mixed be allowed to remarry as if the other party were a foreigner at the time of
marriage; that is, a marriage celebrated between a Filipino citizen and an the solemnization of the marriage. To rule otherwise would be to
alien. The proper remedy, according to the OSG, is to file a petition for sanction absurdity and injustice. Where the interpretation of a statute
annulment or for legal separation. Furthermore, the OSG argues there is no according to its exact and literal import would lead to mischievous results or
law that governs respondents situation. The OSG posits that this is a matter of contravene the clear purpose of the legislature, it should be construed
legislation and not of judicial determination. according to its spirit and reason, disregarding as far as necessary the letter of
the law. A statute may therefore be extended to cases not within the literal
Orbecido admits that Article 26 is not directly applicable to his case but insists meaning of its terms, so long as they come within its spirit or intent.
that when his naturalized alien wife obtained a divorce decree which
capacitated her to remarry, he is likewise capacitated by operation of law In view of the foregoing, we state the twin elements for the application
pursuant to Section 12, Article II of the Constitution. of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 as follows:
1. There is a valid marriage that has been celebrated
between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner; and

2. A valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse VAN DORN vs ROMILLO
capacitating him or her to remarry.
The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of the
celebration of the marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce > Petitioner is a citizen of the Philippines while private respondent is a citizen
is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry. of the United States.
> They were married in Hongkong, that, after the marriage, they established
In this case, when Ciprianos wife was naturalized as an American citizen, their residence in the Philippines.
there was still a valid marriage that has been celebrated between her and > The parties were divorced in Nevada, United States; and that petitioner has
Cipriano. As fate would have it, the naturalized alien wife subsequently re-married also in Nevada, this time to Theodore Van Dorn.
obtained a valid divorce capacitating her to remarry. Clearly, the twin > Private respondent filed suit against petitioner stating that petitioner's
requisites for the application of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 are both present in business in Ermita, Manila, (the Galleon Shop), is conjugal property of the
this case. Thus Cipriano, the divorced Filipino spouse, should be allowed to parties, and asking that petitioner be ordered to render an accounting of that
remarry. business, and that private respondent be declared with right to manage the
conjugal property.
However, we note that the records are bereft of competent evidence duly > Petitioner moved to dismiss the case on the ground that the cause of action
submitted by respondent concerning the divorce decree and the naturalization is barred by previous judgment in the divorce proceedings before the Nevada
of respondents wife. It is settled rule that one who alleges a fact has the Court wherein respondent had acknowledged that he and petitioner had "no
burden of proving it and mere allegation is not evidence. community property".
> Court denied the Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the property involved
Accordingly, for his plea to prosper, respondent herein must prove his is located in the Philippines so that the Divorce Decree has no bearing in the
allegation that his wife was naturalized as an American citizen. Likewise, case.
before a foreign divorce decree can be recognized by our own courts,
the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its
conformity to the foreign law allowing it. Such foreign law must also be ISSUE:
proved as our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws. Like any
other fact, such laws must be alleged and proved. Furthermore, respondent Whether or not private respondent is entitled to exercise control over
must also show that the divorce decree allows his former wife to remarry as such disputed property?
specifically required in Article 26. Otherwise, there would be no evidence
sufficient to declare that he is capacitated to enter into another marriage. RULING:
Nevertheless, we are unanimous in our holding that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 NO. For the resolution of this case, it is not necessary to determine
of the Family Code (E.O. No. 209, as amended by E.O. No. 227), should be whether the property relations between petitioner and private respondent, after
interpreted to allow a Filipino citizen, who has been divorced by a spouse who their marriage, were upon absolute or relative community property, upon
had acquired foreign citizenship and remarried, also to remarry. However, complete separation of property, or upon any other regime. The pivotal fact in
considering that in the present petition there is no sufficient evidence this case is the Nevada divorce of the parties.
submitted and on record, we are unable to declare, based on respondents
bare allegations that his wife, who was naturalized as an American citizen, had It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the
obtained a divorce decree and had remarried an American, that respondent is Civil Code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute
now capacitated to remarry. Such declaration could only be made properly divorces the same being considered contrary to our concept of public policy
upon respondents submission of the aforecited evidence in his favor. and morality. However, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be
recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their
ACCORDINGLY, the petition by the Republic of the Philippines is GRANTED. national law. In this case, the divorce in Nevada released private respondent
The assailed Decision dated May 15, 2002, and Resolution dated July 4, 2002, from the marriage from the standards of American law, under which divorce
of the Regional Trial Court of Molave, Zamboanga del Sur, Branch 23, are dissolves the marriage.
hereby SET ASIDE.

Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the 1985, before the probate proceeding can be terminated, Lorenzo died. Later,
husband of petitioner. He would have no standing to sue in the case below as Paula filed a petition for letters of administration over Lorenzo’s estate.
petitioner's husband entitled to exercise control over conjugal assets. As he is
bound by the Decision of his own country's Court, which validly exercised The trial court ruled that Lorenzo’s marriage with Alicia is void because the
jurisdiction over him, and whose decision he does not repudiate, he is divorce he obtained abroad is void. The trial court ratiocinated that Lorenzo is
estopped by his own representation before said Court from asserting his right a Filipino hence divorce is not applicable to him. The Court of Appeals affirmed
over the alleged conjugal property. the trial court.

To maintain, as private respondent does, that, under our laws, petitioner has to
be considered still married to private respondent and still subject to a wife's ISSUES:
obligations under Article 109, et. seq. of the Civil Code cannot be just.
Petitioner should not be obliged to live together with, observe respect and Whether or not Lorenzo’s divorce abroad should be recognized.
fidelity, and render support to private respondent. The latter should not
continue to be one of her heirs with possible rights to conjugal property. She HELD:
should not be discriminated against in her own country if the ends of justice
are to be served.
Yes. It is undisputed by Paula Llorente that Lorenzo became an
American citizen in 1943. Hence, when he obtained the divorce decree in
1952, he is already an American citizen. Article 15 of the Civil Code provides:

Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal
LLORENTE vs CA and LLORENTE capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though
living abroad.
Since Lorenzo was no longer a Filipino, Philipine laws relating to family rights,
In 1927, Lorenzo Llorente, then a Filipino, was enlisted in the U.S. Navy. In duties, or status are no longer applicable to him. Therefore, the divorce decree
1937, he and Paula Llorente got married in Camarines Sur. In 1943, Lorenzo he obtained abroad must be respected. The rule is: aliens may obtain divorces
became an American citizen. abroad, provided they are valid according to their national law.

In 1945, Lorenzo returned to the Philippines for a vacation. He discovered that However, this case was still remanded to the lower court so as for the latter to
Paula was already living illicitly with Ceferino Llorente (brother of Lorenzo). determine the effects of the divorce as to the successional rights of Lorenzo
Ceferino and Paula even had a son. and his heirs.

Lorenzo then refused to live with Paula. He also refused to give her monetary Anent the issue on Lorenzo’s last will and testament, it must be respected. He
support. Eventually, Lorenzo and Paula agreed in writing Lorenzo shall not is an alien and is not covered by our laws on succession. However, since the
criminally charge Paula if the latter agrees to waive all monetary support from will was submitted to our courts for probate, then the case was remanded to
Lorenzo. Later, Lorenzo returned to the United States. the lower court where the foreign law must be alleged in order to prove the
validity of the will.
In 1951, Lorenzo filed a divorce proceeding against Paula in California. Paula
was represented by an American counsel. The divorce was granted and in
1952, the divorce became final.

Lorenzo returned to the Philippines. In 1958, Lorenzo married Alicia Fortuno.

They had three children.

In 1981, Lorenzo executed his last will and testament where he left all his
estate to Alicia and their children (nothing for Paula). In 1983, he went to court
for the will’s probate and to have Alicia as the administratrix of his property. In



Imelda M. Pilapil, a Filipino citizen, was married in Germany to private

respondent, Erich Ekkehard Geiling, a German national. They have a child
who was born on April 20, 1980 and named Isabella Pilapil Geiling. Private
respondent Erich Ekkehard Geiling initiated a divorce proceeding against
petitioner in Germany on January 1983.The divorce decree was promulgated
on January 15, 1986 on the ground of failure of marriage of the spouses. The
custody of the child was granted to the petitioner.
Six months after the divorce was granted private respondent filed 2 complaints
for adultery before the City Fiscal of Manila alleging that while still married to
Imelda, latter “had an affair with William Chia as early as 1982 and another
man named Jesus Chua sometime in 1983”.


Whether a person could still be prosecuted of bigamy after a divorce decree

was already issued?


The law specifically provides that in prosecution for adultery and concubinage,
the person who can legally file the complaint should be the offended spouse
and nobody else. Though in this case, it appeared that private respondent is
the offended spouse, the latter obtained a valid divorce in his country and said
divorce and its legal effects may be recognized in the Philippines.

In the same consideration and rationale, private respondent is no longer the

husband of petitioner and has no legal standing to commence the adultery
case under the imposture that he was the offended spouse at the time he filed